Quebec’s draft law on euthanasia does not comply with international legislation

Publié le : 21 February 2014

 The Coalition of Physicians for Social Justice is launching an appeal. They have declared their opposition to Quebec’s draft bill on euthanasia on several occasions (Gènéthique press review on October 14th, 2013). They regret the fact that the population of Quebec has little access to palliative care and fear that legalising euthanasia will be the only option available to end the suffering of some patients.

The points on which the draft law contravenes international legislation are listed below:
1. No guarantee of compliance with the "fundamental human right" to receive palliative care, as defined by the World Medical Association. Whilst the draft law provides for "end-of-life care" guaranteeing euthanasia, nowhere does it guarantee access to palliative care. 
2. No guaranteed access to pain-relieving treatment, as defined in the resolution of the World Medical Association, in relation to access to adequate pain relief (2011).     
3. No guarantee of universal access to palliative care, as recommended in the 2013 United Nations report, which stated amongst other things that the inability to access appropriate treatment would constitute an inhuman, degrading or even cruel act. 
4. No guaranteed access to "the right to medical care of the highest quality" as defined in numerous United Nations reports and studies.   
5. No guaranteed access to palliative care for "children suffering from a life-threatening or life-shortening disease", contrary to the demand to adopt a palliative care charter presented by the Committee for Children’s Rights in 2011. 
The Quebec Commission for Human Rights has recommended to the government that euthanasia should be permitted for children, on non-discriminatory grounds.
Watch the Vidéo "The People of Quebec launch an appeal for help".

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